A wonderful piece of vintage kitchenalia
My Dolly mixer is a firm feature of my kitchen. She has stood the test of time in engineering, design and performance. Dolly was also the first gift my husband bought me (I’m sure the feminist in me should have been outraged – at least it wasn’t a hoover) but as a professional cook and baker it was the perfect present.
Not only did she come with the original kenlyte cream bowl, she also had a host of other accessories, one particularly rare and a few that are still in their original packaging.
Dolly is a Kenwood Chef A700B and was made around 1956. Before the B came the A which can be spotted by a single long air vent, where as the B has 2 smaller vents and the D has a single covered air vent. There is also a Major version of the Chef which was targeted to commercial kitchens. It was larger, had a bigger bowl capacity and corresponding heftier motor.
Back to my Dolly. There is a vast array of accessories that were available for the chefs. These ranged from steel bowls to bean slicers and beyond. I have collected a good few. My collection consists of bowls – stainless steel. Another material available is Kenlyte. This was a milky white glass type material. Dolly’s original bowl was Kenlyte , however a slippery bit of cake mix rendered it to bits on the floor, weep!
Globe whisk, for whipping up soft peaks, dough hook, for delightful doughs. K beater, icon k design for cakes and batters.
I believe the A700B need slow speed attachments, although I am yet to investigate this further.
The full list is available from Kenwood Chef Restore, just follow this link.
Others I have collected include the model and attachments as below:
|A708||Juice Extractor and oil dripper|
|A728||Slow Speed Shredder & Slicer- Metal|
See the full gallery here.
Other accessories which I have yet to obtain include:
|A725||Colander & Sieve|
My favourite piece is the juice separator. It is so solid and chunky, yet delicately designed to fit neatly on top on the machine with a little hinge to attached and detach. I think this piece is somewhat rare as I’ve only ever come across one other in my time of searching.
The k beater is my next most useful piece as it is the perfect all rounder for the majority of my recipes.
Moving onto the actual machine. The workhorse is a 400 watt motor powering a centrifugal speed dial and Kenwood’s iconic planetary motion. This motion touches all areas of the mixing bowl to provide thorough incorporation of all ingredients.
The Kenwood Chef was made to be the complete kitchen in one machine. Those housewives needed to be quicker when having it all back in the late 50’s. Thankfully gender equality has moved on but the need to be efficient in the kitchen still remains, which is why I believe this vintage number can still compete with the modern equivalents.
I have knocked up a quick compare to show you how getting an old machine can be just as cost efficient if not cheaper. Plus the range of accessories on modern machines are pretty much the same as the vintage ones, so they are just as relevant and up to date.
|Kenwood Chef A700||Kitchenaid|
|Accessories- Food grinder/mincer||£20||£70|
|Accessories- Dough Hook||£10-20||£25|
|Accessories- Juice Extractor||£20-30||£50-60|
|Accessories- Slicer Shredder||£30-40||£70-80|
|Restoration & Repair||£200- £300||£0|
Where to buy?
I generally find eBay, preloved or a general Internet search the best place to start looking for machines to buy. You should expect to pay around £50-100 for a working machine and can pay as little as £10 for a spares and repairs one that you could get fixed up.
You also might strike it lucky as a car boot or flee market.
With any old electrical equipment you should have an engineer take a look or send it away for a full service and safety check.
This moves us neatly onto the next area to discuss of repair and restoration.
There are a couple of great engineers I would recommend.
Kenwood chef restore have 20 years experience they offer full restores of all Kenwood makes and models. They also have a great e shop full of vintage Kenwood accessories to browse through.
Kenmix Engineering is run by Mike who is a fantastic, industrious engineer. Mike offers full service and restores. He is also always been on hand for me to chat about these vintage beauties.
Most importantly you give an old machine a new life and in turn reduce, reuse and recycle which has got to feel good.
These machines deserve to be collected, restored, cherished and most importantly used. Enjoy!